E.ON reported to select Macquarie for $3.90 bn gas pipeline network: report

E.ON, Europe's largest privately-owned provider of energy services, has selected Macquarie-led consortium, which includes an Abu Dhabi investment fund and German reinsurance giant Munich Re to buy the 12,000 kms of natural gas pipeline in Germany, Bloomberg today reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

A draft deal between E.ON and Macquarie has been agreed, but other suitors still have the chance to sweeten their offers, said the news agency.

A consortium led by French utility GDF Suez has made a firm offer to buy Germany's E.ON's gas pipeline network, French daily Les Echos reported, citing unnamed sources.

The consortium that includes CNP Assurances and IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, has bid for Open Grid Europe distribution network, which is valued at around €3 billion ($3.90 billion), the paper said.

The sale is part of the Düsseldorf-based power and gas utility giant's new strategy unveiled a year ago. Under the plan the company would raise cash through a €15 billion- asset-sales program by exiting the non-competitive markets in Europe and enter rapidly growing markets like South America and Russia.

The asset-sales program came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called to discontinue all the country's nuclear reactors by 2022  after the Fukushima disaster in Japan. The first phase of shutdowns hit EON's earnings by €2.5 billion in 2011.